Tag Archive for Jimmy Sangster

Best Served Cold

Peter Cushing and Alex Gallier in "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” — Klingon proverb, at least according to no less an authority than Khan Noonien Singh

Welcome to Day Four of the
Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon. We’re going to continue our coverage of Peter Cushing’s six Hammer Films performances as Baron Victor Frankenstein. Given the ending of our previous installment, The Curse of Frankenstein (1957), that might seem unlikely as the good Baron was facing the guillotine for the murder of his maid Justine.

Still, Curse broke British box office records as film-goers eagerly or hypocritically ignored the scathing reviews and moral outrage. Further installments were inevitable. To cut costs, The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958) shared sets and was filmed back-to-back with Horror of Dracula.

Peter Cushing’s Frankenstein might be able to escape his doom, but Christopher Lee’s Monster, dissolved in a vat of acid, did not fare as well. Peter would have to go solo for the rest of the series without his good friend. This struck me as curious, given the heavy make-up Lee wore, and it wouldn’t have been too ridiculous to have him take another, human role later in the series. Alas, such was not to be.

Jimmy Sangster and Terence Fisher returned to write and direct, respectively. This consistency helped to establish the visual style of Hammer Horror, that of garish color and period costume. Sangster had to up his game as well, writing his way out of the corner of the first film and charting new territory away from both Mary Shelley’s novel and Universal’s franchise.

The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958)

Our first image is that of the guillotine, continuing right where we left off, but something must be up because surely we’re not in for 89 minutes of decapitating action. The opening title text indicates Frankenstein has been “condemned to death for the brutal murders committed by the monster he had created,” but the mere existence of the monster is disputed at the end of Curse, and only Justine’s body would be available to blame on Victor. I suppose, given the macabre nature of his laboratory and its contents, that he would be blamed for every unsolved murder in Switzerland.

Lobby Cards for
The Revenge of
(click to enlarge)

Lobby Card for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)
Lobby Card for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)
Lobby Card for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)
Lobby Card for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)
Lobby Card for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)
Lobby Card for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)

Alex Gallier returns as the priest from Curse, leading Victor to the headsman with a shuffling trusty in tow. There’s a conspiratorial nod between headsman and henchman, and we follow as the blade is slowly winched upward. We pause as it hangs at the top, hearing a scuffle ensue, and then the blade falls out of frame, quickly seguing to a woman’s shriek and the popping of a wine cork.

Revenge doesn’t take long to establish one of its key conflicts, that of class struggle. Here, we see the underclass at play, getting drunk and plotting avenues for illicit gain. Ten marks for a fresh grave robbing seems a trifle steep, but beggars can’t be choosers, even if the beggar in question is Baron Victor Frankenstein.

Strangely enough, these lowly criminals are exhuming the grave of the recently buried Baron Frankenstein. Inside the coffin is a headless priest, which proves too much for one of the pair. The real Baron Frankenstein introduces himself to the remaining grave robber, who faints dead away. Victor jumps into the grave to check on him and shrugs his shoulders as if to say, “Well, that’s an unexpected bonus.”

A quaintly painted cityscape and title card take us to the fictional city of “Carlsbrück”, where we find the “Medical Council of Carsbruck [sic, umlauts in short supply I guess] in Session”. The Council has a problem with a particularly popular and independent new doctor in the city, Dr. Stein. There is a clear distinction between the men meeting here and in the pub scene earlier. These men are impeccably dressed, the furnishings are posh, their manner cultured and conservative. These are men of means, not action, and their solution to the Stein problem speaks to that. They will send a delegation of three members to seek an appointment and demand Stein joins the Council.

We then see Stein at work, and his office is even more lavish than that of the Council. Nearly a dozen highborn patients crowd his waiting room, sharing it with a colorful parrot and potted plants. As Victor Stein/Frankenstein gets ready to receive the first, he takes a boutonnière from a vase, preserved with a small bit of water, and tucks it into the buttonhole of his lapel. He sniffs it to test its freshness.

This little prop manipulation is pure Cushing and a testament to his stagecraft. The seemingly innocent gesture will be revisited later, where its importance will become more clear. Suffice to say, Victor Frankenstein appreciating the properties of a preserved dead thing shouldn’t be all that surprising.

The remainder of the scene is some lightly sexual tomfoolery with a local Countess, obviously seeking to match her daughter up with the successful doctor through Münchausen by proxy. We do have our first mention of Victor’s work with the poor, however, and it becomes clear that Victor and his work will become a point of intersection and, most likely, contention between the upper and lower classes. It is also clear that Victor may be one of the most eligible bachelors in Carlsbrück.

When we next catch up to Victor, he’s hard at work in his “chirurgie” ward, administering to the poor. It is here that the Medical Council delegates catch up to him. They are disgusted to be so close to the unwashed masses. Victor examines one patient, a pickpocket, and admires the “picturesque” tattoo that adorns his forearm before immediately scheduling amputation. He then explains to the delegates that they spurned him when he first arrived in the city, and now that he is successful, he doesn’t need nor want their assistance.

That is enough for only two of three delegates. Dr. Hans Kleve (Francis Matthews) believes he recognizes Dr. Stein from the funeral of Professor Bernstein. Matthews didn’t appear in Curse, so Kleve’s attendance at that funeral must’ve been off-screen. Once pressed, Victor finally confesses to his true identity. Kleve wants in on the Baron’s groundbreaking work, and he’s willing to use blackmail to get the post, a very different arrangement than the one between Victor and his former mentor Paul.

During the early stages of their negotiations, Victor dissects a chicken dinner with surgical precision. When it comes time to weigh the risk of trusting Kleve, Victor suggests the price of betrayal by wiping down his carving knife less than a foot from Kleve’s face. Their arrangement sorted out, Victor brings his new pupil to their back-alley laboratory. Here, we get our formal introduction to Karl (Oscar Quitak), the paralyzed trusty who enabled the Baron’s escape from the guillotine.

Peter Cushing and Francis Matthews in "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)

Peter Cushing and Francis Matthews in “The Revenge of Frankenstein” (1958)

The laboratory is also our first glimpses of Otto the Chimpanzee, the patchwork man, and the artificial brain. The last is particularly goofy, a pair of tanks with a preserved arm and eyes attached to a generator. The eyes tracking a Bunsen burner without muscle, tendon, or ligament is probably meant to be disturbing, but it just comes across as comical to me. I find it to be the only weak point in the film, but it’s easily (pardon the pun) overlooked.

Victor’s creation is not the hideous monster of Curse. Aside from a few scars, the creation (Michael Gwynn) is a perfectly normal man, albeit a rather large specimen. All he needs is a brain.

Kleve initially recoils in horror, believing he is going to be asked to donate his brain, but Victor laughs this off. “No, your brain is too valuable where it is,” he says. No, it is Karl who is going to put his fine brain into the newly crafted body, a body free of pitiable paralysis. And so, the Baron’s latest monster is created to help someone other than himself. Perhaps our little Victor is growing up.

Sure, he’s exploiting the poor in his ward, but I propose you take a second look. Following the continuity from the first film, this is the first time Victor is putting all that medical knowledge and experimentation into professional practice. He may be poaching around for parts, but he also seems genuinely engaged in the challenge of patient care. Given his noble origins, it’s likely the first job he’s ever had, and he’s wildly successful. I’m sure someone could chart a course through Peter Cushing’s Baron Frankenstein, through Cushing’s Sherlock Holmes, and emerge at Hugh Laurie’s Gregory House, but such conjecture is a bit beyond the scope of this post.

Movie Poster for "The Revenge of Frankenstein" (1958)

Movie Poster for The Revenge
of Frankenstein

I confess The Revenge of Frankenstein does sound a bit more marketable than The Redemption of Frankenstein.

Kleve is quickly put to work in the ward, attending to the poor. He also interviews Margaret Conrad (Eunice Gayson), daughter of the minister, who is eager to assist in their charitable endeavors. When Karl accidentally interrupts, his tongue proves just as paralyzed as his right side, clearly smitten with the young lady. Though a bit conservative and buttoned up here, Eunice Gayson would later become the very first Bond girl and the only one to appear as the same character in multiple films, as Bond’s first true girlfriend, Sylvia Trench, in Dr. No (1962) and From Russia with Love (1963).

After placing his boutonnière in a vase (that again), Victor explains the need to placate Margaret to keep up appearances and avoid interference in his work. He suggests Hans have her wash a patient to prompt her resignation. That sorted out, it’s time to get Karl’s brain into his new body.

Despite the suspenseful music, everything goes smashingly, at least at first. Frankenstein prescribes bed rest until his brain adjusts to his new body, enforced with restraints in a private attic room above the hospital. Karl’s relocation is witnessed by a nosy orderly (Richard Wordsworth at his Dickensian best), who hears Karl’s incoherent screams before the sedatives take hold.

Karl (now played by Michael Gwynn) does make rapid progress, and the moment when Victor encourages him to move his right arm for the first time is genuinely touching, mostly due to Cushing’s gentle manner. Victor apologizes that he can’t stay as he is due down in the ward. Do I detect a sense of responsibility?

Kleve fumbles the ball during his monster-sitting responsibilities. He tells Karl all about the lecture tour, where Karl’s old body and new body will be side-by-side to demonstrate their great achievement. Kleve is too absorbed in his own impending fame to detect Karl’s sadness at being treated like a freak even in his new life.

On the ward, both the snooping orderly and Margaret are summarily dismissed by Victor. The dirty indigent tries to commiserate with the highborn girl by telling tales of Dr. Stein’s dark doings, but she’s skeptical. She calls his bluff, so he breaks out his trump card, the poor wretch hidden in the attic.

Margaret tries to puzzle out how the mystery patient knows her name, but Karl, clearly more confident, glosses over their prior encounter. She is so taken with him that she gives him her address and is talked into loosening his restraints.

Meanwhile, the orderly grills Kleve for information. He triumphs the dirty habits of wild animals, and this gives Kleve a sudden insight into the behavior of Otto the chimpanzee with an orangutan’s brain. A now carnivorous orangutan.

Kleve questions Victor about this turn of events. While chimps will eat meat, orangutan’s are almost exclusively herbivorous. “I discovered it soon after the operation,” Victor explains. “He ate his wife.” Hans is aghast. “That’s another monkey?” “What else would he be married to?” Victor finds Otto’s cannibalistic tendencies a small price to pay for a happy, healthy life. Surely, it couldn’t happen to Karl. Karl’s brain is fine, unlike Otto’s, which was damaged during his recuperation (calling back to the first film and the pre-op damaged brain, we’re making progress but we’ve still got a few kinks to work out). Besides, Karl knows about Otto’s fate and will be sure to obey doctor’s orders to mitigate the risk.

Before Hans can come truly unglued about the potential of cannibal Karl, Victor is excited to show him yet another secret project. It’s another patchwork man, but this one bears a striking resemblance to the Baron himself. As they transport Frankenstein 2.0 to the preservation tank, we see the tattooed arm Victor was so fond of adorning his latest creation.

In the attic, Karl is busy disobeying orders and dressing himself, perhaps for the first time. As he flexes his right arm and buttons his pants, it’s hard to blame him even though he knows the risk better than we do. Karl blithely ignores the new right leg that doesn’t seem as sturdy as it should, taking a moment to admire himself in the mirror. He can’t waste another minute before embarking on his new life, and out the window he goes.

Before hitting the highway, Karl has some unfinished business, and sneaks back into the lab to incinerate his old body. He runs afoul of the drunken janitor who doesn’t recognize him and gives him a sound thrashing that manages to wreck much of the equipment. Karl eventually hulks out and throttles the sadistic scum to death. When he sees Otto enjoying a fleshy snack, Karl commences to drooling and is terrified at the implication.

“You will see a man turn into the world’s most terrifying monster!”

Margaret finds Karl hiding in her stables. He begs her not to tell Dr. Stein, and she agrees, but rushes to tell Hans instead, swearing him to secrecy. It doesn’t last long, however, before Victor gets in on the pursuit.

The stress begins taking its toll, and Karl’s new body starts to fail him, reducing him to a shambling, cannibalistic monster prowling the streets. The green tint for Karl used in promotional materials was clearly inspired by the make-up used for the 1931 black-and-white Universal film and not anything in this one, but Gwynn’s gradual transformation is effective just the same.

Before Hans and Victor can catch up with Karl, he literally crashes a posh dinner party attended by Margaret. As the wealthy revelers gasp in fear, Karl stumbles over and begs Victor for help. By name. “Frankenstein help me” are his last words.

In the wake of this scandal, the Medical Council calls an emergency meeting. Hans wants to flee, but Victor is preoccupied. He has prepared for this eventuality.

The waiting room is deserted, and Hans has been summoned before the Council. Victor insists upon accompanying him to face their accusations, but not before discarding his boutonnière (a-ha!).

At the Council, Victor admits to being a Frankenstein, but denies being Baron Frankenstein and claims he changed his name to avoid the stigma the name carries. An exhumation of the baron’s grave ends the charade as the priest’s trappings are found in the coffin.

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The rumors have spread from rich to poor, and Frankenstein finds his patients have no more love for him than the Council. Here, the reception is far less formal, and he is beaten nearly to death by those he tried to help.

Kleve arrives in time to save his life, but Victor fears it is too late. Hans knows what to do. The authorities arrive at the back-alley laboratory only to find Victor Stein’s lifeless corpse.

Later, on London’s fog-shrouded Harley Street West, a Dr. Franck washes up for surgery, and we see a certain oft-admired tattoo. Hans Kleve tells Dr. Franck that his next patient is waiting, but before he steps out into the waiting room, Dr. Franck plucks a new boutonnière from its vase. A fresh flower for a fresh start.

In the end, it seemed Victor Frankenstein was denied both his revenge and his redemption, but he cheated death once more, so join us tomorrow for The Evil of Frankenstein (1964). You’re a bad person if you don’t.

Appetite for Resurrection

Baron Frankenstein (Peter Cushing) makes time with Justine (Valerie Gaunt) in "The Curse of Frankenstein" (1957)

Welcome to Day Three of the
Peter Cushing Centennial Blogathon. Today, we’re going to begin our journey through the six Frankenstein films starring Peter Cushing and produced by Hammer Films.

I’ve been a fan of the Mary Shelley classic Frankenstein since I first read it in my youth. The novel is a series of nested stories, starting with the journal of a North Pole explorer and including a tale told by the monster itself, but most of these are abandoned in adaptation for a more linear plotline. I also adore the Universal Pictures film from 1931, starring Boris Karloff and directed by James Whale.

It’s somewhat suprising, then, that I hadn’t seen any of the Hammer Films Frankenstein series until very recently. I had been aware of them, sure, and looked forward to watching them someday, but just never seemed to get around to them. I recorded three of them when they aired on TCM during last Halloween, but still they sat on my DVR, unwatched, until last month when Jon Kitley of Kitley’s Krypt issued a challenge to his Kryptic Army.

The April Mission was to confess to not having seen two “horror classics” and then remedy that. As a dutiful soldier, I chose The Curse of Frankenstein and its immediate sequel, The Revenge of Frankenstein. After a six day work week, they were welcome treats on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

London-based Hammer Films had been cranking out “quota-quickies” for twenty years before The Quatermass Xperiment (1955) was a surprise sci-fi blockbuster. The spelling of the title was a very conscious choice, designed to take advantage of the newly created X certificate given to films of an adult nature, suitable for those 16 years of age or older, and roughly equivalent to the MPAA’s R rating. Even with the X certificate, Xperiment and its would-be sequel, X the Unknown (1956), caused quite a stir with censors because of their macabre subject matter and imagery.

American producers Max Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky had written a script for Frankenstein and the Monster and submitted it to Associated Artists Productions. a.a.p., negotiating to distribute Hammer films in the U.S., forwarded it on to them. Hammer was disappointed with the script and although the novel was already in the public domain, the script borrowed heavily from Universal’s Son of Frankenstein (1939).

Jimmy Sangster had been working for Hammer as an assistant director when his plot for a Quatermass sequel instead became the surprisingly successful Quatermass pastiche, X the Unknown. Despite protests that he was a production manager, not a writer, Sangster was commissioned to write The Curse of Frankenstein in an effort to move the film away from the old Universal treatments. Hammer was so impressed with the results, the project quickly transformed from a black-and-white quickie to a full color production. Though their Frankenstein and the Monster never materialized, Rosenberg and Subotsky would go on to found Hammer rival Amicus Productions, whose horror anthology films would make great use of Peter Cushing as well.

Sangster’s script may have impressed Hammer, but it didn’t fare well with the British Board of Film Censors:

“We are concerned about the flavour of this script, which, in its preoccupation with horror and gruesome detail, goes far beyond what we are accustomed to allow even for the ‘X’ category. I am afraid we can give no assurance that we should be able to pass a film based on the present script and a revised script should be sent us for our comments, in which the overall unpleasantness should be mitigated.”

Regardless, the script remained unchanged. Terence Fisher was tabbed to direct, having already worked with Hammer on some crime films and a couple of minor science fiction entries. Not wanting to be unduly influenced, Fisher avoided seeing the Universal Frankenstein film. Curse was the first time Fisher directed Cushing, but it certainly wouldn’t be the last. Peter appeared in 14 Terence Fisher films in all.

Cushing was chosen for the lead because of his work for BBC television, most notably in Quatermass creator Nigel Kneale’s controversial adaptation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1954). The film opens with Cushing’s haggard and imprisoned Baron Victor Frankenstein receiving a visitor. The priest was summoned by Frankenstein to hear his tale of murder and madness because the people will trust and listen to the priest, and that’s the only chance the doomed Baron has if his story is to be believed.

Movie Poster for "The Curse of Frankenstein" (1957)

Movie Poster for The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

The Baron’s narrative, told in flashback, forms the basis for the rest of the film. We meet the Baron in his youth, played with smug confidence by Melvyn Hayes. Hayes, 22 at the time, appears far younger as the freshly orphaned Baron, heir to the title and his family fortune. The scene features our introduction to Victor’s young cousin Elizabeth. Played by the buxom “horror queen” Hazel Court (Devil Girl from Mars) for the bulk of the film, here she is played by Hazel’s own daughter Sally. Sally did not care for the acting experience, and this remains her only film credit.

We are also introduced to fresh-faced Dr. Paul Krempe (Robert Urquhart), interviewing for a position as a tutor. Krempe is surprised to find that the Baron and his prospective pupil are one and the same. While at first amused, Krempe sees the opportunity here, but later horrors prove he made a far better tutor in science than father figure.

Though his scene is brief (less than 3 and a half minutes of screen time), Hayes makes quite an impression as the young Baron. He is headstrong, demanding, and impatient, a boy made a man by the untimely death of his parents, and death would prove his great nemesis, not the villagers or authorities who come to fear and loathe him. Hayes had previously worked with Fisher on the Hammer crime film The Black Glove (1954). Though he shares no scenes with Cushing (seeing as how they play the same character), he would re-team with Cushing outside of Hammer Films in the crime film Violent Playground (1958) and the horror film The Flesh and the Fiends (1960).

The passage of years is reflected in the return of Cushing to the title role and the growth of Krempe’s facial hair. Their first great scientific achievement is the resurrection of a puppy. Victor’s gasp of “Paul, it’s alive,” is as close as we get at this point to the shrieking madman presented in the Universal version. The cute animal’s rebirth, amid non-maniacal joyful laughter, only subtly foreshadows the horror to come and subverts our expectations. This is happy, healthy, adorable science at work.

Krempe wants to publish immediately, to announce their discovery and benefit the world. A smug Victor sips brandy from a snifter. Here, he lets Paul do the shouting as he calmly, politely, coldly refuses to share their discovery. Restoring life is not enough for Victor. He wants to create life from nothing.

A hanged man provides the raw materials. The scene of Victor cutting the condemned man from the gibbet was the first shot for the film. This night crime forms our first truly horrific images. The music begins to take on a sinister tone as well. Paul’s concern grows as Victor grimly sets to work, heedless of the blood staining his noble finery. An acid bath, used to dispose of the corpse’s head, is not only a source of grisly sound effects, but functions as Chekhov’s gun, foreshadowing later events.

“This is Frankenstein… who revolted against nature…
who experimented with the devil and was forever cursed…”

While Paul is nauseated and unnerved, the work makes Victor hungry. His appetites form a theme that runs through the film, his thirst for brandy coupled with a thirst for knowledge, his hunger for power over death, his lust for the maid Justine and for intellectual challenge. Cushing’s enthusiasm in the role is infectious, and makes some viewers uncomfortable as they root for a Victor Frankenstein that is darker and more selfish than other, more refined incarnations.

While Victor is off procuring the severed hands of an accomplished and freshly deceased sculptor, Elizabeth (Hazel Court) returns. Her exchange with Paul is pure confusion as she first confuses him for Victor (having last seen him as children), and then surprises Paul with the announcement that she’ll be moving into the manor, clearly something Victor neglected to discuss with his mentor turned lab assistant.

When Paul warns against the danger of Elizabeth discovering their activities, Victor doesn’t see the harm. He is blind to the horror he is wreaking in the course of his ambition. Justine, the maid and Victor’s secret mistress, is also less-than-enthused about Elizabeth’s arrival. Victor finds her jealousy amusing. Having grown up without adult supervision or rules, he is a petulant child with no sense of responsibility or accountability.

This is apparent in his murderous scheme to acquire a suitable brain, that of Professor Bernstein. As Bernstein and Frankenstein share brandy and cigars, the professor and Elizabeth try to show Victor the importance of family and fraternity. He is moved by Bernstein’s words of wisdom, but undeterred. He has come too far to turn back now and Bernstein’s fate is sealed with a shove.

In Bernstein’s crypt, Paul confronts Victor in the act of removing Bernstein’s brain. In the ensuing struggle, the brain is damaged, and Victor is distraught for the first time, not from having committed murder or losing a mentor and friend, but from having his plans derailed. Victor is forced to admit that he cannot finish his experiments without Paul’s help, and he resorts to subtly threatening Elizabeth to get his way.

During their discussion, a lightning strike triggers the apparatus and brings the creature to life. It’s nearly 50 minutes into the film before the bandages are torn away and we see the horrifying visage of Frankenstein’s Monster (Christopher Lee) for the first time. While Phil Leakey’s make-up may have been last minute, it lends a bloated, sloughed pallor to the creature that works well in color to indicate its necrotic origins.

If not for Paul’s intervention, creation would have strangled creator to death upon their first meeting. Ungrateful, Victor blames the creature’s murderous nature on the damage done to the brain by Paul. Soon, the monster is loosed on the countryside to murder a blind man and his grandson (the latter heavily implied off-camera). Victor promises to warn the villagers, but doesn’t. His chief concern is not their lives but that of his creation. Paul shoots the creature through the eye and everyone lived happily ever after.

Except Victor cannot let the dead lie. Upon his return to the manor, he is confronted by Justine, who reminds him of his promises to marry her. He laughs at her plight, her innocence and gullibility, both taken advantage of to periodically sate his primal lusts. She claims to be pregnant with his child, causing him to grow serious, but he tells her it would be easily blamed on any of a number of other villagers. When she ups the stakes by threatening to tell the authorities about his experiments, he dismisses her harshly. He is not moved by love or responsibility, but by the danger she poses to his work.

Justine sneaks into his laboratory that night, eager to find some proof of his criminal activities. She stumbles upon the exhumed creature, and Victor locks both the maid and his unborn child in to be murdered at the hands of his true creation. Victor blithely plays off her disappearance at a sumptuous breakfast with Elizabeth. “I expect some village Lothario eloped with her. She always was a romantic little thing.”

Elizabeth (Hazel Court) snoops around in "The Curse of Frankenstein" (1957)

Elizabeth (Hazel Court) snoops around in The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)

With his experiments in order, Victor leaves Elizabeth to plan their impending nuptials. Despite Elizabeth’s eagerness and obvious physical charms, Victor decides to work on the eve of their wedding. Paul arrives at Elizabeth’s invitation, and upon hearing from her that Victor’s work has resumed, immediately heads for the laboratory. There, Victor demonstrates his command over the creature, treating it like a dog, hearkening back to the puppy they first resurrected together.
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Paul is horrified, but Victor is quick to share credit as well as blame for the results of their collaboration. Victor vows to continue until his determination is satisfied. Finally, Paul is left with no alternative. He must go to the authorities and tell them of their collective crimes.

Seeing Paul rush out with Victor in pursuit, Elizabeth is concerned. She heads to the laboratory to see what has distressed them so and finds the acid bath, mere moments before she herself is found by the hideous creature, broken free of his chains. It doesn’t menace her immediately, however, and, during his struggles outside with Victor, Paul has the opportunity to see the thing lumbering about the battlements. Victor rushes to fetch a pistol and confront the thing on the battlements, but both shots and the thrown pistol only serve to focus the creature’s rage on its creator. Victor sets the thing alight with a hurled lamp and watches with revulsion as it falls through a window into the acid bath.

We return to our framing device, with the imprisoned Victor miserable at the fruit of his labors. The priest is unconvinced, but Victor perks up at the announcement that Paul has come to call. Victor seeks corroboration from Paul, but Paul insists Victor is responsible for Justine’s murder (her body presumably found in the laboratory). With the monster dissolved and Paul and Elizabeth departed, Baron Victor Frankenstein is left to face the guillotine alone.

So much for five sequels, eh? Well, we’ll see that guillotine again tomorrow as we witness The Revenge of Frankenstein (1958). Be here or be square.